California governor to draw down guard troops at border

Sergio Conner
February 12, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom is poised to withdraw all 360 state troops from the US-Mexico border, in an apparent rebuttal of President Donald Trump's stance that there is a national security crisis there, media said on Monday.

At least 150 troops to expand the California National Guard's statewide Counterdrug Task Force - if the Trump administration's Department of Defense agrees to fund the expansion.

"The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans", Trump said.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion United States to help build a wall led to a 35-day partial USA government shutdown that ended last month without the president getting wall funding.

The move comes shortly after New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) ordered her state to withdraw state National Guard troops from the border as well. But both governors are outspoken Trump opponents.

Last week President Trump tweeted that he is sending additional USA military to the Southern Border, saying, "Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border".

Jerry Brown (above right) originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state's troops "will not be enforcing federal immigration laws".

Texas and Arizona still have troops on the border.

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But the National Guard has been aiding federal efforts along the border by handling duties that otherwise would have had to be performed by USA troops and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, including vehicle maintenance, administrative support and operating cameras on the border. They can not act as a police force or make arrests.

Brown said he agreed to the mission after persuading the federal government to commit to paying for it and kept the guard members under the direction of the state.

"The Border "emergency" is a manufactured crisis," Newsom is reportedly set to say on Tuesday.

Then-California Senate leader Kevin De Leon and 26 state legislators urged Brown to end the National Guard agreement.

Newsom's office did not provide a timeline for the redeployments.

"What's appropriate, what would be inappropriate, what was our commitment under the executive order Gov".

The governor, a Democrat who took office in January, said border crossings were at their lowest level since 1971 and that the state's undocumented population had dropped to a more than 10-year low.

He added: "I can assure you I have not deviated from my previous statements in terms of my desire to move in a different direction".

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